In his Oct. 14 community commentary “Turkey-Armenia talks cause for celebration,” Gerry Rankin makes a couple of astute observations. He states that “Armenia may be strong in heart, but it is relatively weak in economic and military power, and potential adversaries surround it on every side” and that “peace is everybody’s business.”
To his latter point, he is correct that peace is everybody’s business. But the question must be asked, “At what cost?” The issue of Armenian-Turkish relations is not as simple as Monday morning political quarterbacks would like us to believe. By condoning the preconditions of these talks as they relate specifically to the historical commission, we are also condoning the Turkish government’s genocidal campaign against its civilian minority populations (Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks).
Forcing Armenia to reevaluate this period of history as a precondition to negotiations is tantamount to Congress only agreeing to pass the Civil Rights Act if African Americans agreed to a historical panel to study whether the institution of slavery was a human rights catastrophe or an economic necessity.